October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Read and share stories to honor survivors whose lives have been changed by domestic violence.

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Joseph Sakran

Lying semiconscious on the gurney, I could sense the frantic commotion of healthcare workers bustling around me in the trauma bay. Donned in protective equipment from head-to-toe, like a man on the moon, the trauma surgeon’s eyes were all I could see, as he hovered over me. Those eyes reflected both intense concentration and fierce determination to save my life. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but my memory of that face is worth a million.

Only hours before, I had been a healthy 17-year old student at a high school football game. One moment I was an innocent bystander, and the next I became collateral damage as a violent fight broke out after the game and a .38-caliber bullet ripped through my throat.

Nearly unconscious at the time, I still can vividly see the expressions on the faces of the many people trying to save my life. The chaos in the trauma bay filled me both with fear and awe – fear that I might die and awe by the fearless purpose of the medical personnel fighting to save my life. Today I work as a trauma surgeon to give others the same second chance I received.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

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